This week saw Equestrian NSW run 4 very successful Interschool clinics across New South Wales. Our Sydney clinic was fortunate to have the fantastic Sydney International Equestrian Centre as our venue where the riding facilities are second to none. 112 participants, ranging from 6 years of age through to Year 12 High School students, attended across five different equestrian disciplines.
Monday afternoon began with an official welcome address from Equestrian NSW Chair, Judy Fasher, with all participants and parents gathered together in the Event Square. The riders then split into 3 groups. Each group attended 3 different unmounted sessions. The unmounted sessions were led by: • Peter Gillis who spoke about Rider Psychology, • Derek Major, Veterinarian, Agnes Banks Equine Clinic, discussing management of horses at home and at competitions, and • Fiona Hughes, Karen Tinney and Charlie Brister combining together to teach and practice how to stand a horse up and trot a horse out in an official trot up at an event.
A fabulous group of elite coaches were keen to be part of the clinic coaching team and each coach was allocated a group of riders to work with for the duration of the camp.
Tuesday and Wednesday saw riders have two ridden lessons per day in their discipline groups and coaches ran additional informative unmounted session in the lunch breaks – it was not uncommon to see a lunchtime rider fitness session or dressage tactics being discussed on the whiteboard.
Thursday morning saw an informal mock competition where riders put into practice what they had worked on throughout the previous days and all participants received an Equestrian NSW Interschool cap.
SIEC went beyond the call of duty to put together a cross country course specifically for our clinic preparing the back section of the original Sydney Olympics course which has not been used since 2008 – in fact some of the riders who rode on it were not born yet when it was last used. We have to thank Brett Ryan, Fiona Hughes and Bruce Farrar for all of the work they have done putting together a mini course there and also Sydney International Eventing and Sydney at SIEC Eventing for the use of the portable cross country jumps.
Our show jumping riders were fortunate to be riding on courses designed and built by John Vallance, also built specifically for our clinic.
A big thank you also goes to Angie James, our stable/cabin manager and office assistant, Mary Houghton for looking after our coaches at lunchtime and Elysha Sargent for her assistance in the office and with the Eventing mini comp. Our thanks also goes to the tireless team at SIEC who looked after our every need.
It was a pleasure to organise and manage this clinic for such a great group of kids and parents. Big thanks to all the marvellous parents who assisted throughout the clinic- your efforts are all hugely appreciated. I hope you all had as much fun as I did.
Have a look through our photos, you may just see yourself.